We are living in extraordinary times, crusaders. As absolutely overwhelming as they can be, they are (for better or worse) uncommon. Unfortunately, fear and distrust are no strangers to current events, and it’s easy to lose sight of that bigger picture when you’re in the middle of those smaller but significant moments.
So, I wouldn’t blame you if you missed a moment of historic proportions that happened quietly while much of the world’s attention was focused elsewhere.
I’m of course talking about the incredible night “The Band’s Visit” had at the Tonys on Sunday and the history they made in the process.From the start, “The Band’s Visit” spoils itself, revealing its conclusion with its opening lines: “Once not long ago, a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt. You probably didn’t hear about it. It wasn’t very important.”
Of course, that could not be further from the truth. It may not be “exciting,” but it is most certainly important.
There may be nothing extraordinary about this small town in Israel, nothing extraordinary about this band from Egypt, and yes, that may sound like a horrible description for a Broadway show. Yet the significance and charm of this absolutely ordinary story about ordinary people is undeniable.
And that, like most things in life, comes down to balance. The show thrives on balance. It uses silence as much as it uses sound (rare for a Broadway musical), shadow as much as it uses light, and much like its characters finds ways to amuse itself and the audience in truly unremarkable situations…
There’s something truly spectacular about this musical about ordinary people in incredibly ordinary circumstances. For me, it’s more than a beautifully written, designed, acted, directed (and you get the point) show, it’s a reminder that if you keep looking, you’ll always be able to find help, hope, acceptance, and kindness even in those “not very important” moments.